What about smokes?

Dear Editor:

RE: Trudeau ‘simple’? (June 9).

This letter, concerning guns and cigarettes, is helpful because it provides balance and perspective. Much of mainstream media reporting today exaggerates violence, death and tragedy, going to extremes to gain viewership and admiration. This just traumatizes people – especially children.  

Equally harmful is the ignoring of greater dangers because they don’t happen to be the fear flavour of the day.

 Here are the metrics for today’s “hot-key” fear issues, to assist readers – especially young readers – to understand and feel less insecure, and hopefully see the world as something more than just an adult war zone.

 There have been 1,106 human deaths worldwide due to avian influenza between 2003 and 2021.  This means an average of 61 deaths annually. The 2022 total is heading for about 100 deaths worldwide based on 40 deaths in the first five months. Avian influenza dates back to 1878. 

 As reported in The Mirror (UK), “in countries where the (monkeypox) virus has been most prevalent in the past, there have been 66 deaths thought to be linked to monkeypox since the start of the year,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said. At this rate, we would be looking at about 160 deaths worldwide annually.

 Canadian firearm deaths in 2019 totaled 708.  Among these, 75% were suicides, 23% were homicides and 2% were classified as accidental.

In The New Great Depression, James Rickards reports that CDC estimates “put the overall (COVID-19) infection fatality rate at 0.39 percent…. lower than the pandemics of 1957 (Asian flu), 1968 (Hong Kong flu), and 2009 (Swine flu).” COVID deaths in Canada averaged about 16,000 annually; almost 70% were seniors over 80. To date, the cumulative COVID population death rate for Canadians under 20 is about 0.007%.

Your June 9 writer (and the Canada Lung Association) indicate that 48,000 Canadians are killed by cigarettes annually. Total combined 2019 cigarette tax revenue for governments in Canada was $8.4 billion. This is half of the $16.2 billion in annual health care costs associated with smoking. Addiction Minister Bennett’s boastful declaration to put warnings on each individual cigarette is a shameful abdication of moral and political responsibility.

For young readers: it’s okay to worry, but don’t let yourself become traumatized by sensationalist, alarmist news stories. Learn science, history, philosophy and politics. Don’t fear them. I know you can do a better job than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pathetic cadre of system servers.  

Follow the science; get the data, preserve its integrity; think independently; challenge the self-serving orthodoxy and do what you know is right.

Cigarettes are an enormous social injustice; hopefully, tomorrow’s leaders will outlaw them.

Terence Rothwell,
Wellington North

*Editor’s note: *The Advertiser was unable to confirm some of the statistics in this letter. *Over 41,000 Canadians have died with COVID-19, but death and complete recovery are not the only outcomes. *Regarding avian influenza, the risk to humans remains low, but it poses a significant risk to the poultry industry.